Opinion No. 15
from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District,
State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Steven Hippler, District
summarily dismissing petition for post-conviction relief,
S. Silvey, Boise, for appellant.
Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Mark W. Olson, Deputy
Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.
Eugene Roberts, III, appeals from the district court's
order summarily dismissing his petition for post-conviction
relief. Roberts argues that the district court erred because
it created a class of claims that is unreviewable. For the
following reasons, we affirm.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
bench trial, the district court found Roberts guilty of
burglary and arson in the first degree. Roberts then admitted
to being a persistent violator. The district court imposed a
unified thirty-year sentence, with a minimum period of
confinement of ten years, for arson in the first degree and a
concurrent unified ten-year sentence, with a minimum period
of confinement of five years, for burglary. Roberts timely
appealed. This Court affirmed Roberts' conviction.
State v. Roberts, Docket No. 42534 (Ct. App. Sept.
17, 2015) (unpublished).
then filed a petition for post-conviction relief setting
forth numerous claims. The State moved for summary dismissal,
which was granted. Specific to Roberts' claim that his
appellate counsel rendered ineffective assistance by not
pursuing issues on appeal as fundamental error, the district
court dismissed pursuant to Mintun v. State, 144
Idaho 656, 662, 168 P.3d 40, 46 (Ct. App. 2007). Other claims
were dismissed pursuant to Bias v. State, 159 Idaho
696, 702, 365 P.3d 1050, 1056 (Ct. App. 2015), on the basis
that they were "barred as forfeited because [they] could
have been raised on direct appeal." Roberts timely
STANDARD OF REVIEW
petition for post-conviction relief initiates a proceeding
that is civil in nature. Idaho Code § 19-4907;
Rhoades v. State, 148 Idaho 247, 249, 220 P.3d 1066,
1068 (2009); State v. Bearshield, 104 Idaho 676,
678, 662 P.2d 548, 550 (1983); Murray v. State, 121
Idaho 918, 921, 828 P.2d 1323, 1326 (Ct. App. 1992). Like a
plaintiff in a civil action, the petitioner must prove by a
preponderance of evidence the allegations upon which the
request for post-conviction relief is based. Goodwin v.
State, 138 Idaho 269, 271, 61 P.3d 626, 628 (Ct. App.
2002). A petition for post-conviction relief differs from a
complaint in an ordinary civil action. Dunlap v.
State, 141 Idaho 50, 56, 106 P.3d 376, 382 (2004). A
petition must contain much more than a short and plain
statement of the claim that would suffice for a complaint
under Idaho Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(1). Rather, a
petition for post-conviction relief must be verified with
respect to facts within the personal knowledge of the
petitioner, and affidavits, records, or other evidence
supporting its allegations must be attached or the petition
must state why such supporting evidence is not included with
the petition. I.C. § 19-4903. In other words, the
petition must present or be accompanied by admissible
evidence supporting its allegations, or the petition will be
subject to dismissal. Wolf v. State, 152 Idaho 64,
67, 266 P.3d 1169, 1172 (Ct. App. 2011).
Code Section 19-4906 authorizes summary dismissal of a
petition for post-conviction relief, either pursuant to a
motion by a party or upon the court's own initiative, if
it appears from the pleadings, depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions and agreements of fact,
together with any affidavits submitted, that there is no
genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law. When considering
summary dismissal, the district court must construe disputed
facts in the petitioner's favor, but the court is not
required to accept either the petitioner's mere
conclusory allegations, unsupported by admissible evidence,
or the petitioner's conclusions of law. Roman v.
State, 125 Idaho 644, 647, 873 P.2d 898, 901 (Ct. App.
1994); Baruth v. Gardner, 110 Idaho 156, 159, 715
P.2d 369, 372 (Ct. App. 1986). Moreover, the district court,
as the trier of fact, is not constrained to draw inferences
in favor of the party opposing the motion for summary
disposition; rather, the district court is free to arrive at
the most probable inferences to be drawn from uncontroverted
evidence. Hayes v. State, 146 Idaho 353, 355, 195
P.3d 712, 714 (Ct. App. 2008). Such inferences will not be
disturbed on appeal if the uncontroverted evidence is
sufficient to justify them. Id.
may be summarily dismissed if the petitioner's
allegations are clearly disproven by the record of the
criminal proceedings, if the petitioner has not presented
evidence making a prima facie case as to each essential
element of the claims, or if the petitioner's allegations
do not justify relief as a matter of law. Kelly v.
State, 149 Idaho 517, 521, 236 P.3d 1277, 1281 (2010);
DeRushé v. State, 146 Idaho 599, 603, 200
P.3d 1148, 1152 (2009). Thus, summary dismissal of a claim
for post-conviction relief is appropriate when the court can
conclude, as a matter of law, that the petitioner is not
entitled to relief even with all disputed facts construed in
the petitioner's favor. For this ...